Like every other startup, cashflow and funding are among the biggest concerns for Theya Healthcare

STARTING a business is a balancing act at the best of times with a lot of plates to keep spinning .

One of the biggest challenges for any young business is ensuring its growth is strong enough to take advantage of available opportunities while all the time ensuring it’s not overstretching itself.

It’s an issue that’s been at the forefront of Theya Healthcare founder and chief executive Ciara Donlon’s mind.

She feels the Government could help ease the financial burden of taking on additional workers.

“A concern is managing staff costs as the business grows. The cost of increasing headcount in a small business is significant and these costs need to be carefully balanced with anticipated revenues.

“[The Government] could look at making it easier for startup companies to employ people, either through tax breaks or subsidies.”

Like every other startup, cashflow and funding are among the biggest concerns the healthcare company, which specialises in underwear designed for women who have undergone breast cancer surgery, radiotherapy treatment or cosmetic surgery.

Doing business in Ireland: Managing staff costs is a concern

The UK’s decision to leave the EU has only added to the list of concerns Ms Donlon and Theya’s six staff members now have to contend with.

“Since we are now moving into international markets, we need to manage our currency exposure to currency fluctuations. The UK is one of our key markets and as yet we don’t know what the full impact of Brexit will be,” she says.

Asked to evaluate the state of the business environment as a whole, however, and Ms Donlon has a largely positive story to tell.

University College Dublin (UCD) and its startup incubator NovaUCD and Enterprise Ireland come in for particular praise for its role in helping the company to date.

“As an Irish startup we had significant support from both UCD and NovaUCD. UCD helped us get our clinical study off the ground and Nova was very enthusiastic to include Theya Healthcare in their business support programme.

“Enterprise Ireland have been fundamental in the growth of the business. In 2012, at the idea stage, we won one of the first Female Feasibility Study grants which enabled us to do our market research. Then in spring 2014, we pitched for a competitive start fund and were awarded funds of €50,000 in order to grow the business. In October of the same year, Theya Healthcare became a high potential start up (HPSU) client of Enterprise Ireland which enabled us to access further funding support.

“As a HPSU client we have access to support from 33 offices globally and have been allocated a development advisor to guide us as we expand into international market.”

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